eThekwini Municipality issues stern warning to contractors

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The eThekwini Municipality has warned its contractors of dire consequences should they not honour their agreements.

Waste removal services by an independent contractor in Umlazi were cancelled following failure to deliver.

The decision only affects Umlazi township and only municipal workers will be delivering this service from the 1 July. The stench will not go away from the city. Mayor Zandile Gumede is currently on a 30-day suspension for her role in the Durban Solid Waste’s R208 million tender.

In May, Durban Solid Waste workers wreaked havoc by overturning refuse bins on the streets leaving some parts of the city inaccessible. The angry workers were demanding to be paid the same salaries as some of their colleagues who are former members of Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans working at their department.

The metro says it has taken a decision to cancel all refuse contracts in Umlazi.

“We are exposing them to all sorts of diseases because of this situation. So, we had to come to this decision that it would be better for us to take over this service and do it ourselves,” says eThekwini Municipality Manager Sipho Nzuza.

This is a decision that is likely to ruffle a few feathers in the eThekwini. The contractors are said to be unhappy with the decision to in-source the service.

However, councillors from various political parties have welcomed the decision.

“We welcome the decision taken by the city manager. In fact, this decision was canvassed by the ANC,” says ANC Councillor Sthenjwa Nyawo.

DA Chief Whip in eThekwini Thabani Mthethwa says, “We are here today because of the interference by politicians in awarding of tenders especially in imposing sub-contractors.”

For the past six months, dirt has been piling up in the township as collection services came to a halt.

“It is affecting us as residents of Umlazi. The rubbish is all over our premises. We don’t know who is behind this,” says resident Siyabonga Khumalo.

The matter is expected to be on top of the agenda during the municipality’s executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

The eThekwini Municipality has promised those who worked for the dysfunctional companies that they will not be thrown out but will be absorbed into the system.

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